Ruby Braff

Braff Plays Bing: Swinging on a Star

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Ruby Braff was a throwback to a different era, playing cornet rather than the more popular trumpet, and sticking to a program consisting primarily of standards and gems from the era of swing. This tribute to Bing Crosby, recorded a little over a year after the crooner's death, features the cornetist with a rhythm section and a string orchestra conducted by Neil Richardson. Together they cover a number of songs associated with Crosby, with one notable exception, "You're Sensational," which was covered by Frank Sinatra in the film High Society. Braff's trademark lyricism is present throughout the date as he caresses each of these memorable melodies with his mellow horn, with "Swinging on a Star" and "Moonlight Becomes You" especially standing out. Unfortunately, pianist Brian Lemon switches to an inferior

sounding electric piano for both "Old Folks" and "White Christmas," which proves to be a bit distracting. Richardson's string charts are okay, though the album could have easily succeeded just as well without them. Long out of print and unlikely to be reissued on CD, this English release will definitely appeal to fans of Ruby Braff.

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